Disclaimer: Not mine. Rating: er... 13+ vague sex, swearing.
Pairing mentioned: Kara/Zak Spoilers: through 2.8 notes: inspired by someone's prompt of Kara and faith from ages ago. I think it may've been bijoux, but I didn't keep the name with the prompt in the file.
Summary: I will not watch the ocean.
Length: 1000+

No such thing as angels with silver wings by ALC Punk!

She was exactly four years, five months and ten days when she found the gods.

Delphi museum was off-limits to children without parental control, but they didn't notice her: small, mousy, blond. She was good at hiding (had to be, even then). Having escaped her exasperated mother's grasp six blocks ago near the Open Air Market, she slipped inside the huge structure and wandered the halls for over an hour.

The tour guides and tourists alike seemed to assume she belonged to someone there.

"...it's said that the Gods' love for Athena knew no bounds," one of them prattled on, standing in front of a display case with a manufactured girl, looking out, her eyes sad.

Ignoring him and the girl in the case, Kara wandered away until she found a corner in one of the reproductions. And there she sat, fingers tracing the glyphs on the wall as if she could read it.

The beauty of the interlacing, graceful letters haunted her, stayed in her mind.

When she got in trouble for straying (her mother told her she was undisciplined, and she was only doing it for her own good), she saw the sad girl in the case again, surrounded by marching figures. If the girl could endure centuries without her family, she could endure her punishment.

If only so she could return to the museum, could sit and trace the figures and consider their beauty.

Two days later her mother was transferred to Geminon.

--

Ten years later, she's back in the museum, only this time it's for a project she's not planning on turning in. Kara's good at getting by on just enough credits to pass. She doesn't need the extra this assignment provides, but she can't quite convince herself to stay away.

It's changed, of course. Renovations, discontinued artefacts--she found her little corner gone, repaced with a shiny glass case full of jeweled headdresses from some dynasty.

One of her classmates dared her to steal something, and she walked out with two postcards for the idiot girl, then kicked her ass and took them back. While the administrator was lecturing them, she snuck a hand into her pocket to feel the hard smoothness of the real haul.

Aphrodite and Artemis, the book he gave her said. She read it under her covers with the small flashlight her mother never missed from her equipment kit.

They're one more connection to him, one more thing her mother can't take away.

She slept with the idols under her pillow, so they couldn't be found when her mother drunkenly trashed the rest of her room. After telling her she was ungrateful and useless, and would just grow up to be a slut like her father, Sergeant Major Thrace passed out in a pool of her own sweat and vomit.

The flashlight got smashed sometime during the rampage.

--

"Lords of Kobol, hear my prayer--" Zak broke off, chuckling and looked at her. "You really believe all that?"

Kara rolled her eyes, "Shut up and c'mere, flyboy."

"Oooh, yes, sir." He smirked as he reached for her, fingers sliding across her skin. His voice slid up into a falsetto as he mocked, "Oh, gods, Kara, gooooods--"

She shoved him, but laughed, twisting away so he couldn't see her face as she pushed him to the ground then straddled him. "I think that calls for a punishment."

"Oooh?" He wriggled underneath her, "What's it gonna be, sir?"

"Something slow..." Kara leaned down to nip at his lips.

When he was exhausted, she left him on the floor a panting, wrecked mess. "The gods were good," she pointed out, nudging his side with a toe.

"Yuh-huh."

Snorting, Kara kicked him, this time harder. "You're an ass, Zak."

"Takes one to know one, Kara."

She snickered and stepped over him, noticing that her small statue of Athena had fallen over--she vaguely remembered Zak hitting his head on the dresser. Absently, she righted it, stroking the material reverently.

"Hey, I had a thought."

"You sure your head didn't implode? I thought thinking hurt."

He laughed, hand stroking up her leg, "C'mon, Kara..."

She looked down at him, "Don't you ever get tired?"

"The gods made me strong," he quipped.

Kara kicked him again, this time ungently. "Get up, Adama. I have things to do before putting your sorry ass through training."

--

"Win those in a card game, Starbuck?" Sharon sounded a little uncertain, but the bravado was there. Like she was trying a little too hard to not be the rook.

Kara glanced at her and set the idols back in their wrappings. "No."

"Do you believe in the gods?" Now she sounded naive, and maybe a little facile.

"Depends." The corner of Starbuck's mouth twitched.

"On what?"

"How much I can kick your ass."

They were both thrown in the brig for five hours. Sharon didn't ask anymore questions--it's hard to talk with your mouth swollen.

--

She'd been there before, of course. And for a moment, her memory flashed back to raising a glass of water and agreeing to teach his new pilots.

This time, there's no water. Kara shifted her stance, unused to the scratchiness of her uniform after weeks on Caprica and Kobol. Adama seemed, she thought suddenly, smaller. Dimninished in some way that she'd never thought possible.

Half a dozen times, she thought of interrupting his reading, starting a conversation.

But she was terribly frightened she didn't know what to say to the man anymore.

Closest thing she has to a father, and she just kept frakking up their relationship.

"Kara."

His voice made her jump, and she realized she'd been concentrating too hard on trying to not think, and hadn't noticed him stand. A sigh escaped him.

"Sir." She swallowed.

"I'm not going to bite, Kara."

"No, sir. You just kick."

A slight smile touched his lips, then was gone as he looked at her. "I ought to have you thrown in the brig for desertion of duty, theft of military property, disobeying a direct order... Hell, Starbuck, Tigh thinks you'd be better tossed out an airlock."

"I know, sir." Gods, does she know. That drunken asshole hasn't let up ramming his opinion of her down her throat since the day she walked onboard. As if she was trespassing on his territory, somehow.

"But I can't do that."

She remained silent, watching him.

A moment and he leaned back against his desk, fiddling with the glasses he'd removed, "I can't do it because the Fleet needs all of the pilots it can get. It needs its one and only combat flight instructor." He looked up at her, met her gaze.

"I..." She swallowed, nodded, "I understand, sir. So... the day I become obsolete?"

"Gods-willing, that day will never come." He replied softly, almost unwillingly. Then he straightened and nodded, "Dismissed, Lieutenant."

"Sir." Tossing him a trademark Starbuck smirk, she about-faced and headed for the door.

"Kara." His voice stopped her seconds from the corridor.

She looked back.

"Don't frak this up."

"I won't, sir." She smiled again, then stepped out and into the corridor. There was no teaming humanity there, and she thought there should have been. Waves of it to swallow her up and turn her into yet another faceless, emotionless human being.

A tear slipped down her cheek, but she didn't believe in its existence.

-f-